tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC April 30, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
tonight on "world news," ground zero, our first look this evening at one town where the winds topped 200 miles per hour. the town nearly wiped off the map as the death toll climbs this evening and communities now turn to the humanitarian crisis. lost and found, those precious possessions carried 100 miles by the storm. how one woman's small entry on facebook is now getting families photos they feared were lost forever. fast track. we're at the vatican where pope john paul's coffin has been brought back up preparing to make him a saints. william and kate, photos released tonight. from our tiny booth, two moments i won't forget and the snapshots you asked for.
good evening on this saturday night. we begin here with words we heard just today from one emergency worker who said it is not an exaggeration to say that whole communities were wiped out. today, our team spent the entire day in one of those towns, ground zero, if you will, smithville, mississippi where an ef-5 tornado decimated the town. winds reaching 205 miles per hour. the death toll across eight states is still climbing this evening. now more than 340 people. neal karlinsky is in mississippi tonight. >> reporter: good evening. of all the tornado strikes, the one to hit this tiny town was by far the strongest. it obliterated 70% of the homes around here. cars have been tossed about like children's toys are commonplace. it's the stories from the people who live here that are unlike anything we have heard so far.
to understand what the people of smithville, mississippi went through, you need to listen to shelley brown. she found her father amidst the rubble minutes after the tornado obliterated his house. >> he looked at me. he said she's gone. i can't find her anywhere. then he passed out. >> he was having a heart attack. his wife of 43 years was nowhere to be seen. >> he said that the tornado ripped her out of his arms as she went into the air. >> reporter: her mother's battered body was found 20 feet away. she didn't make it. her father devastated that he couldn't hold on to his wife died at the hospital. this town of over 800 people suffered unimaginable loss. the post office is a pile of bricks. the only school was ripped apart. the police station, leveled. the chief says his department can do nothing but ask for help just like everyone else. he lost everything but a single squad car. he was inside his office trying to save his son when the tornado struck. >> while he was going up over, i
grabbed ahold of him. he grabbed me. we were actually blown like outside the building. >> reporter: the survival stories are as mind boggling as the damage. down the street, 79-year-old maxine was ripped from her house along with the wall. they found her on train tracks 50 yards away. incredibly, she was alive. >> having to go through all of that, in between these trees, she survived. it's hand of god type of miracle. >> reporter: even all these days later, they're still searching for the missing. in this town, four people still remain unaccounted for. even though 15 of this city's 17 buildings were leveled, they vow to rebuild. david? >> that woman carried to the train tracks alive. unreal. thanks so much in mississippi tonight. it's not the intensity of the tornados that stand out, but the size. look at tuscaloosa.
you can see the path of destruction. it could not be any clearer. jim avila is on the story. >> reporter: it's cleanup day across the south. a saturday workday as city after city begins the comeback. >> although we have been ravaged beyond comprehension, we still remain the shiny city on the hill. >> reporter: the line of tornados tore through 15 states in 24 hours. today the president added mississippi and georgia to alabama's official designation as a disaster area. alabama remains the hardest hit. 113,000 still without power. 1700 injured, 254 dead in alabama alone, including little edgar vazquez, just 9 years old. >> he's with his family. >> the town of phil campbell hit so hard, it may never recover. 18 people died here.
>> i don't know if it will ever come back. it's so much damage. i don't know if anybody would have the heart. >> reporter: francis' family survived in a center hallway as the home fell down around them. >> the tornado that big, it doesn't mean if you're in a trailer or brick home or whatever, if you're in the path of it, it's going. >> reporter: to prove her point, a trailer park, where panscy's mobile home was gone in seconds. >> all of this can be rebuilt, you know. god will send people like he has. >> reporter: today church groups are helping with the cleanup. >> i can't believe all these people are out here. they don't us from adam. >> reporter: here at francis mae's house in phil campbell, alabama, the recovery has begun as the mayor said today, our hearts may be broken, but our souls are intact. david? >> the resiliency has been so much. thanks so much again reporting in the tornado zone.
these violent storms not only took lives, they have taken precious memories, blowing photographs 100 miles away. one woman has taken to facebook, an extraordinary effort to get those photos back to families who lost them. dan harris is also in the region tonight. >> reporter: these are memories in search of owners. first birthdays, first steps, graduations, weddings. snapshots snatched away by the tornados, faded and ripped and smudged, but found by strangers miles away. this picture of a brother and sister from phil campbell, alabama was found 100 miles away in ardmore, tennessee. this portrait of their cousin from the same town was found 150 mile as way in manchester, tennessee. this picture of nick and stacey was found 267 miles away in chattanooga, tennessee. once these photos would have been lost forever, but in the
age of facebook, they are finding their way back home. >> i actually got on facebook right after the storms went through and a friend of mine posted it was raining pictures in her yard. >> so patty got the idea to create an online lost and found. so far she's posted dozens of images. >> a lot of the pictures that are put on there are baby pictures, pictures from birthdays. personal memories. the only way they can get those back if someone finds them and returns them to them. >> reporter: dan harris, abc news, tuscaloosa, alabama. >> the power of one woman's efforts. dan will be there tomorrow morning. we turn to washington. members of congress who during a visit home were bombarded with constituents who said hands off my medicare. here's david kerley tonight. >> reporter: republican members of congress got an earful. in florida. >> congressman why did you vote to privatize medicare. >> because the country can't afford it.
we can't afford it. >> reporter: last night, even the republican author of the budget plan, paul ryan, was loudly criticized forcing the congressman to tell one man to leave the town meeting. the man left. the loud complaints about ryan's budget plan are over medicare which according to democrats would be turned into a voucher program, but only future seniors would be affected. in new hampshire, a tea party freshman. >> in pennsylvania -- >> you say nothing in the campaign about i'm going to change medicare. now you voted for a plan that will destroy medicare. >> reporter: it was a dramatic shift from the last time republicans went home during a recess. then they heard from tea party members who encouraged them to cut spending. >> i want to know if it's coming out of my paycheck. >> despite the massive shift in
tone, republicans dismissed the suggestion that they were pummelled at home. >> the republican position is is it kroftial? yes, but is it reality, yes, it is. we ought to stop playing politics. >> they campaigned on cutting but now when they're coming home to talk about cutting they have to defend how difficult this cut is. especially when we're talking about medicare. >> democrats believe the republicans have handed them a gift with their vote to change medicare. democrats are using that vote already. in tv ads and fundraising calls as well. david? >> david kerley tonight. thanks so much. as you heard him report there, the architect of the republican budget plan now generating so much controversy is paul ryan. ryan sat down with an interview with the host of "this week" kor christiane amanpour. >> how do you feel being made a bogey man? >> i don't think about it.
i sleep well at night, because i know we have a debt crisis coming. we know we're going to have an economic collapse if we stay on the path we're on. it's unconscionable as an elected representative of people to know that that's coming and not try to do something to prevent it from happening. if it's bad politics, so be it. >> let's bring in christiane amanpour. it's something to hear a politician say if it's bad politics, so be it. is ryan and republicans in general willing to take a hit politically with this? >> it seems ryan is. he's been working for years on this plan. he's devoted to it. we were at his district in wisconsin where he was holding town hall meetings. as you saw other congress people are facing a backlash from their constituents. many are now saying programs the republicans will start running away from the ryan plan because of the drastic cuts he calls for in medicare and medicaid and other such programs. he seems very committed to it,
saying that without this kind of thing, there will be a massive crisis. >> congress knows we have to address this deficit. what about the democrats? what's their counterplan? >> they too know that there has to be some kind of plan to reign in the debt and come up with a plan to overhaul entitlements. you hear democrats say they are going to call for cuts, meaningful cuts in spending in return for their vote on the debt ceiling, for instance. >> christiane with us tonight. you can see christiane's full interview with congressman ryan including what he said about the chances of compromise with the president. very intriguing tomorrow morning right here on "this week." thousands of people are converging on the vatican in roam that will advance the saint hood of the late john paul ii. >> where roman emper ors once
slaughtered people for a future saints, tomorrow morning, pope john paul will be beatified. his heroic virtue has been confirmed. >> reporter: normally the church wouldn't begin this process until five years after a possible saints has died, but in pope john paul's case, they've waived the waiting period. church officials say while they are fast tracking this, they're not cutting corners. john paul was the ambassador of the faith, a champion of religious freedom who helped bring down the iron curtain. at his funeral, the crowd shouted santo subito. >> you're not a fan of santso subito in this case? >> no, i have deep reservations. >> joe is one of many who say the late pope for too long
turned a blind eye to the sexual abuse scandal that in the u.s. alone so far has more than 10,000 victims and more than 4,000 priests accused of wrongdoing. >> it's after effects, troubled papacy. >> ahead of tomorrow's ceremony, the coffin was brought up and placed before the tomb of st. peter. tomorrow it will be at the bass ill ka's main altar so the faithful can pay their respect. >> the picture from rome and london. we reported on the wedding and the one guest struck from the list, the ambassador of syria. western reporters have been banned from syria, but witnesses say more than 60 people have been killed in the last two days alone. the president of yemen, reanythinged today on his offer to step down causing outrage.
the president cracked down on demonstrators again today. four deaths reported there. in libya, moammar gadhafi went on tv offering a cease fire. gadhafi made that promise before and broken it. nato rejected the offer and vowed to step up the attacks. egypt's minister said the ousted president, hosni mubarak could be put to death if he's can convicted of ordering the shooting of protesters. more than 800 people killed during the uprising there. there is much more news ahead. in fact this story is no laughing matter. why would the comic book hero, superman renounce his american citizenship? would clark kent approve? tonight, we're back from london. we read your tweets, so many of you asking what were we taking pictures of there.
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they have delayed their honeymoon. for now a short break, escaping by helicopter, their destination, an official secret, but somewhere excluded in britain. that followed a very late wedding party for 300 at buckingham palace. details of the speeches are scarce, the daily tell graph reports that prince harry was light hearted and laced with jokes at his brother's expense and even some of his more elderly relatives. william's father described kate as the daughter he never had and said the family is lucky to have her. the official family photos were released. the duke and duchess alone and with their families. >> from their point of view, it was two families coming together. >> reporter: there is this, more casual official photo, clowning for the camera is 8-year-old tom p pettifor. >> it was a picture we all
wanted to take. we had seconds to put that picture together. those children came in, there was jelly beans. >> after the long weekend break, the newlyweds will head to wales where prince william will return to work as a military search and rescue pilot. they are planning a honeymoon somewhere overseas and somewhere exotic, but they won't say where or when. the parents checked out of their hotel this morning and headed home. after months of living in the public eye, it is clear the couple and their family are eager to have a little time away from the camera. jeffrey kofman abc news. >> your favorite moments from the wedding. next superman doesn't want to be an american anymore? big news! we have another way to help you save. oh, really? how? by bundling. if you get your homeowners and auto insurance together, we give you even more savings. ooh!
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to guess the moment we were trying to capture. stacked four stories high, the tiny green broadcast booths overlooking buckingham palace. from inside the booth, we were watching along with all of you back here at home. apparently caught on camera, using our own cameras. >> we're not just watching it on television, we're seeing it. >> so many of you tweeted me asking what were we taking pictures of. on facebook, hope the cartwheeling clergyman made the list. that has to make the top of the royal's scrapbook. >> for me it was the balcony. we knew there would be the kiss. but two? this was one of my favorites. the other star of that second kiss, the little bridesmaid covering her ears. it wasn't the smooch, it was the roar of the crowd and the flyover. what we didn't know is the 3-d
camera captured the kiss in a historic way. those images coming this week. my favorite moment, rich telling me the spin they took in the aston martin, we were reporting on a wedding scripted down to the minute. this we had no idea it was coming. we learned more about that blue aston martin owned by prince charles run on english wine. james bond was driving an aston martin db 5, its driver a little older. that's okay, prince william is new at a lot of things, first and foremost, newly wed. or just wed as the car said. >> barbara and diane and i thank you for getting up so early to watch the royal wedding. that's the broadcast for tonight. good night.